Volvo hints at its slick new design future

Published: 17 November 2009

Volvo is planning on moving even further from its slab-sided design roots, judging by this teaser sketch flashed up briefly during a recent presentation in Gothenburg.

CAR managed to sneak a quick cameraphone shot of the anonymous new Volvo when it momenatarily appeared. Problem is, we’re not quite sure what it is!

The chances are it’s a generic doodle by one of Volvo’s designers, showing a direction or flavour of what’s to come rather than a specific new model.

However, senior executives at the Swedish HQ told CAR that the new 2011 V70 would be a different type of vehicle to today’s conventional estate. Could this design sketch give us a clue to a more crossover-inspired new jack-of-all-trades?

Who’s running Volvo design nowadays?

Former design chief Brit Peter Horbury recently returned to the top job at Volvo after a stint running Ford’s north American studios. He replaced former Merc designer Steve Mattin.

Horbury is the man credited with creating the modern Volvo image. After years of boxy 240s and 940s, he introduced the 850 and other softer, less slabby Volvos.

So what’s happening at Volvo right now?

This is a busy time for Volvo, which is currently being sold to Chinese car maker Geely in a long, drawn-out deal as Ford spins off the last part of its assembled European premium empire. It recently unveiled the new 2010 S60, which will provide much of the hardware for the new V70 the following year.

>> We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this mystery new Volvo. Click ‘Add your comment’ and sound off on the possibility of a new Volvo crossover

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet